CRJU 20423 Chapter 6: Critical Issues in Crime & Justice: Chapter 6

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Criminal Justice
CRJU 20423

Critical Issues in Crime and Justice by Maguire Okada Chapter 6: Juvenile Delinquency I. Introduction a. Persons under 18 years of age accounted for 11.8 of all arrests in the United States in 2011, a percentage that has declined steadily since reaching its peak level of 19 in 1996. b. Most arrests were 15 to 17 aged groups and the vast majority were charged with theft, minor assaults, vandalism, drug offenses, liquor law violations, disorderly conduct, or status offenses, such as curfew violations and loitering. c. Less than 1 in 20 juveniles were arrested in 2011 and charged with a serious violent crime, and the total number of juvenile arrests in that year, 1.47 million, had decreased 31 in the preceding 10 years. II. What is Delinquency? a. Traditionally, juvenile courts have exercised jurisdiction in three distinct types of cases. b. Although statutory language varies, the delinquency jurisdiction of these courts generally authorizes intervention in any case involving a minor charged with an act which would be a crime committed by an adult. c. It is differentiated from their jurisdiction over status offenders (youth engage in activities that would be permissible for an adult but are prohibited for children) and neglected dependent youth (those who have no parent or are the victims of parental neglect or abuse). d. This definition as a legal category masks significant statebystate variations that make it exceedingly difficult to pin down exactly who and what we are studying when trying to understand delinquency. 1. Who falls within the delinquency jurisdiction of the juvenile courts varies tremendously across states. e. Juvenile courts have almost universally retained authority to transfer youth under the age cap to criminal court for prosecution as adults if the judge deems the child to effective treatment within the system, and many states also automatically exclude who are charged. III. How Much Delinquency? a. Arrest Data 1. National Center for Juvenile Justice (NCJJ) 2. Of violent crime all four offenses accounted for less than 5 3. Murder occurred once in every 1,750 juvenile arrests 4. Part I property offenses accounted for 23 1. 42 arson, 29 vandalism, 28 disorderly conduct, 22 robbery, 8 murder 5. Females accounted for 29 of all juvenile arrests and for 36 of arrests for property offenses, 18 for violent crimes 6. Between 2002 and 2011 juvenile arrests have decreased by 31 b. SelfReport Surveys
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